There are many factors contributing to the hourly salary of ultrasound technicians, also known as medical diagnostic sonographers, including your level of education and in which state you are employed. Medical diagnostic sonographers may be employed in a range of medical and professional settings, including hospitals, clinics and universities.
Average Hourly Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that ultrasound technologists earned an average annual salary of $67,170 in 2013, which translates to approximately $32.29 hourly. The hourly salary of ultrasound technologists ranges between $22.04 to $44.26 and is dependent on your location and the type of institution you work for.
Salary by Instiution
Medical diagnostic sonographers employed in general and surgical hospitals earned an average hourly wage of $32.47 in 2013, while those employed in physician's offices and outpatient care facilities earned $32.20 and $35.41 an hour, respectively. Ultrasound technicians working in colleges, universities and training facilities earned an average hourly salary of $33.96 according to the BLS.
Salary by Region
The West Coast of the U.S. is reported by BLS to pay the highest hourly rate for medical diagnostic services. In California, you can expect to earn an average hourly wage of $41.61, while in Oregon, the average hourly rate for ultrasound tech services is $40.30. The lowest reported hourly wages in 2013 were in South Dakota and Alabama, paying ultrasound technicians average hourly rates of $26.01 and $22.96, respectively.
Salary by Education
Your potential earnings are also largely affected by the level of education that you have earned. Ultrasound technicians must at least be able to demonstrate an associate degree. Technicians with this degree generally start at the low end of the pay scale. However, as you gain experience, the level of your education gradually doesn't matter. You can earn as much as colleagues with more impressive degrees, unless you are working in an academic setting.